Please select your home edition
Edition
Kilwell - 4

Extreme Sailing Series 2014 - Gold medallist Ayton to join The Wave

by Oman Sail on 28 Jan 2014
Extreme Sailing Series 2014 © Mark Lloyd http://www.lloyd-images.com

2014 Extreme Sailing Series - British Olympic gold medallist Sarah Ayton will make her debut in the Extreme Sailing Series in Singapore next month after she joined The Wave, Muscat team for the 2014 season, marking a welcome return to top level competitive sailing after a three year break.

The 33 year-old sailing professional who won her first gold medal in the Yngling class at Athens in 2004 and a second at Beijing four years later, is currently in training in Singapore with Leigh McMillan’s new look crew in preparation for the 2014 curtain raiser which starts on February 20.

Her last competitive outing was in 2010 as a member of the British Olympic squad for London 2012 but joining The Wave, Muscat’s championship winning crew after a break and with little experience of Extreme 40 racing represents an extreme and exciting challenge for Ayton.

'It has been a while since I last raced competitively and my only experience of Extreme 40 sailing was when we did a fly by for Princess Anne in Basilica in Weymouth so it’s all new,' she said. 'It will be the most high-performing sailing I have ever done. Olympic sailing is one thing but racing alongside and against America’s Cup teams with a crew who are going all out to defend their title is a really big deal.

'But I wouldn’t have wanted it any other way. I’ve been waiting for the right opportunity to come along and sailing on The Wave, Muscat is that opportunity. It’s really exciting. I’m looking forward to racing a fast boat and really looking forward to getting back on the racetrack.'


McMillan’s fresh 2014 crew also features Kinley Fowler, the New Zealand match racer who was a member of Oracle’s winning crew in the last America’s Cup and Omani bowman Nasser Al Mashari, who made his debut in Extreme 40s when he raced with Ben Ainslie (and Fowler) on Oman Air in 2011.


Ayton, Fowler and Al Mashari replace Ed Smyth from New Zealand who has joined GAC Pindar and its Australian America’s Cup crew, Hashim Al Rashdi and Musab Al Hadi. McMillan’s right hand man Pete Greenhalgh will be back in action in the afterguard.

'From last year we had to change the team because Musab exceeds the age limit to meet the rule which meant we had to look at a new line up,' McMillan explained.

'We wanted to keep Musab and Hashim together because they are doing an Olympic 49er campaign and we were very happy to have Nasser because he is so experienced and powerful.

'Sarah was our first choice to join us and she was really keen. She will be involved in the boat handling and will have input into the communication and tactics – she has a really good tactical brain. We have also been very fortunate to get Kinley and he is a good fit for the team so I’m confident this new team is one that is capable of winning.

'We sail together for the first time on Wednesday and will train together for seven days so should be in really good shape after that.'

McMillan and Ayton flew into Singapore directly from Muscat where they attended the signing of the new three-year sponsorship agreement with The Wave, Muscat building on what has been a highly successful venture between the property developers and Oman Sail.

The new deal will lay the foundations for continued success in the Extreme Sailing Series though with a line-up of celebrity skippers in 2014, the crew on The Wave, Muscat is anticipating a sterner challenge in their bid to make it three titles in a row.

'There are 11 teams in there and they are all capable of winning,' said McMillan. 'It will be tough so we will not be going in and expecting to win five of the eight events this year but we will be pushing hard to get onto the podium and in doing so we will have a pretty good shot at winning the title.'


2014 The Wave, Muscat crew
• Leigh McMillan, skipper (GBR)
• Pete Greenhalgh (GBR)
• Nasser Al Mashari (OMA)
• Sarah Ayton (GBR)
• Kinley Fowler (AUS-NZL-IRL)

Extreme Sailing Series 2014
• 20-23 February: Act 1 Singapore
• 19-22 March: Act two Muscat, Oman
• 1-4 May: Act three Qingdao, China
• 26-29 June: Act four Saint Petersburg, Russia
• 22-25 August: Act five Cardiff, UK
• 11-14 September: Act six Istanbul, Turkey
• 2-5 October: Act seven Mediterranean venue TBC
• 11-14 December: Act eight Sydney, Australia

For latest updates: click here

Barz Optics - FloatersInSunSport - NZNaiad

Related Articles

Rio 2016 - The Qualification Games - Part 2
Yachting NZ's refusal to nominate in three classes won in the first round of 2016 Olympic Qualification is unprecedented Yachting New Zealand's refusal to nominate in three classes won in the first round of 2016 Olympic Qualification is without precedent. Subject to Appeal, the Kiwis have signaled that they will reject 30% of the positions gained in the ISAF World Sailing Championships in Santander in 2014.
Posted on 22 May
Gladwell's Line - World Sailing changes tack after IOC windshift
Over the past year, we've given the International Sailing Federation (now re-badged as World Sailing) a bit of stick Over the past year, we've given the International Sailing Federation (now re-badged as World Sailing) a bit of stick. Every blow well earned over issues such as the pollution at Rio, the Israeli exclusion abomination plus a few more. But now World Sailing is getting it right.
Posted on 21 May
Rio 2016 - The Qualification Games - Part 1
Antipodean selection shenanigans aside, the Qualification system for the Rio Olympics appears to be achieving its goals Antipodean selection shenanigans aside, the Qualification system for the Rio Olympics appears to be achieving goals set in the Olympic Commission report of 2010. Around 64 countries are expected to be represented in Rio de Janeiro in August. That is a slight increase on Qingdao and Weymouth, but more importantly a full regional qualification system is now in place
Posted on 19 May
Taming the beast-a conversation with Stuart Meurer of Parker Hannifin
While AC72 cats were fast, they difficult to control, so Oracle partnered with Parker Hannifin to innovate a better way. If you watched videos of the AC72s racing in the 34th America’s Cup (2013), you’re familiar with the mind-boggling speeds that are possible when wingsail-powered catamarans switch from displacement sailing to foiling mode. While foiling is fast, there’s no disguising the platform’s inherent instability. Now, Oracle Team USA has teamed up with Parker Hannifin to innovate a better way.
Posted on 18 May
From foiling Moths to Olympic starting lines-a Q&A with Bora Gulari
Bora Gulari’s is representing the USA at the Rio 2016 Olympics in the Nacra 17 class, along with teammate Louisa Chafee. Bora Gulari (USA) has made a strong name for himself within high-performance sailing circles, with wins at the 2009 and 2013 Moth Worlds. In between, he broke the 30-knort barrier and was the 2009 US SAILING Rolex Yachtsman of the Year. His latest challenge is representing the USA at the Rio 2016 Olympics in the Nacra 17 class as skipper, along with his teammate Louisa Chafee.
Posted on 12 May
Concern for Zika at Rio Olympics is now deadly serious
Alphabet soup is one description that has thus far not been used for either Guanabara Bay, Alphabet soup is one description that has thus far not been used for either Guanabara Bay, or the Rio Olympics. Many others have, and they were apt, but things have changed. So here now we have a situation where one man, Associate Professor Amir Attaran, who does have a more than decent string of letters after his name, is bringing nearly as many facts to bear as references at the article's end
Posted on 12 May
Zhik - The brand born of a notion, not its history
here is probably every reason that ocean rhymes with notion. Zhik’s tagline is officially marketed as Made For Water There is probably every reason that ocean rhymes with notion. Zhik’s tagline has been officially marketed as Made For Water, and this is precisely what the company has done for the last eight years before the succinct and apt strapline came from out of R&D and into mainstream visibility.
Posted on 8 May
Shape of next Volvo Ocean Race revealed at Southern Spars - Part 1
Southern Spars has been confirmed as the supplier of spars for the 2017-18 Volvo Ocean Race. In mid-April, Race Director, Jack Lloyd and Stopover Manager Richard Mason outlined the changes expected for the 40,000nm Race during a tour of Southern Spars 10,000sq metre specialist spar construction facility. A total of up to seven boats is expected to enter, but time is running out for the construction of any new boats.
Posted on 3 May
Sailing in the Olympics beyond 2016 - A double Olympic medalist's view
Bruce Kendall takes a look at what he believes Sailing needs to do to survive beyond the 2016 Olympics. Gold and Bronze medalist and multiple world boardsailing/windsurfer champion, Bruce Kendall takes a look at what he believes Sailing needs to do to survive beyond the 2016 Olympics. A key driver is the signalled intention by the International Olympic Committee to select a basket of events that will be contested.
Posted on 29 Apr
From Olympic flag to Olympic Gold and maybe another
The Sydney Olympics was a Sailing double 470 Gold event for Australia. Having won the 420 World Championship in 2000, the feeder class to the 470, while still at school in Australia young Matt Belcher was given the honour of carrying the Olympic flag during the closing ceremony of the Sydney 2000 Olympics.
Posted on 28 Apr